Write Little and Often – Even if You Have to Nail Yourself to the Chair

make yourself writeby Annette Young

Nailing yourself to the chair is a kind of extreme way of making yourself write, although there have been times when I would have almost considered anything to try to make myself get into the writing mood. I do know how important it is to keep the flow of words coming even on those off -days when a writing task that might take one hour usually could easily treble to three. Without doubt, there will be times when the last thing you want to do is to be creative, you are tempted with a million reasons to do anything but write and yet, you can’t give into this mental lethargy. You have to do something to get those words out of your head and onto paper .

I got up this morning, went into my office, took one look at the ever rising pile of paperwork and almost walked straight back out. My brain felt muddled, I couldn’t think about the workload and the deadlines, in fact, they were probably the reason why my brain said no -not happening today. If I had forced myself into the chair and started working, progress would have been very slow. Instead, trying to look marginally awake, I headed straight out in the hopes that it would spark up some sort of creative thinking.

It worked. Scurrying clouds lined in silver gave way to glorious sunshine and a golden glow to everything, the flowers, the blossom,even the grass developed a more vibrant shade of green. Instead of thinking, I just allowed myself to become a part of the scene. I took the pressure off myself to perform and instead, just inwardly absorbed.  I carried on walking for a bit and cleared my mind,  mentally dusting off cobwebs from my brain.

I watched a plane fly overhead cutting a trail through the clouds and imagined just for a moment where those people might be going, then, giggles broke the silence, and I watched a young girl chasing after her dog as it scurried down a quiet lane enjoying the game. As I turned I saw an old man, his face lined, eyes kind, sitting quietly, contemplating life and observing. He seemed comfortable in his spot, relaxed.

This is what we have to do sometimes as writers.

Sure there is a time to sit yourself down and go through the pain of writing when the words won’t come, but at other times, escape, just for a little bit. Tell yourself that this is part of the writing process. We may live in our imaginations but sometimes, we have to take a deep breath and touch base with all that is around us.  Then when recharged, we go back to our writing space and we sit and let words flow, even if the words mean very little and are disjointed. We have to write little and often and then we can usually beat the creative slump, and the words flow suddenly thick and fast. But on the days where it is impossible, go outside, and take ten minutes to connect with the world, take a few deep breaths and remember that as writers we capture the essence of all that is around us. When those all important minutes are up, we get back on the creative track and we let the words out.